Tag Archive: shae leigh bloem


prayer

i was inspired by this blog piece my friend Shae wrote over here where she spoke about a meeting she went to where the pastor proclaimed that the prayer the people would pray [to follow Jesus] was the most important prayer they would ever pray.

Shae was not convinced:

I’m not convinced. I’m open to the fact that I may be wrong in my disbelief here, but I’m still not convinced. What is the most powerful prayer you’ll ever pray? I’m not sure. Is there such a thing? I don’t know.

And as i commented on her blog about why i was convinced it was, i realised i also was convinced that it was not.

Huh? Yes, that.

You see, i think there is a whole lot of truth in that pastor’s statement that that prayer is a moment of the most extreme significance in the life of anyone who makes it. The decision and the commitment probably more than the actual prayer itself is what is the most important thing though – the prayer itself is more like a vehicle.

However, at the same time, i think that that moment of “This is the most important prayer you will ever pray.” can also be completely misleading in another way and this is an area where i feel the church has failed big time on many occasions.

In Luke 23, we see Jesus extending this invitation to His disciples:

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

What is key in that verse is the word ‘daily’.

So while this is the most important prayer you will ever pray in your life the first time you pray it [true], it is ALSO the most important prayer you will pray in your life today. And tomorrow.

It is the prayer of invitation to Jesus to once again be King of your life for this day. It rests on the understanding that His command of ‘Love God, love people’ is going to be greater than anything you could come up with on your own and that despite the horrible mess christians have made of the name through the centuries, today there is another chance to redeem it and shine the spotlight back on Him.

The big problem of the church that i alluded to earlier was when we settled for converts over disciples.

People who would step forward and give Jesus a hug instead of those who would choose to live for Him every day. And even die for Him if it became necessary.

Jesus was never interested in short term conversion. His call was only ever for long life discipleship.

And so the most important prayer you will ever pray was the one you prayed that day when you decided to choose to follow Jesus and make a commitment to Him and His kingdom.

But the most important prayer you will ever pray is ALSO the one you pray every morning, consciously or not, when you choose to follow Jesus and His ways over your own.

Will you pray that prayer today?

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I am hardcore. I nearly broke my hip skateboarding. I eat burgers with my hands and not a knife and fork. Spiders don’t freak me out. I can jump-start a car. I love hardcore music too – the likes of Underoath, Blessthefall, The Devil Wears Prada, and Pierce the Veil, I could eat for breakfast. I drink beer. My electric guitar is black.

I don’t lose my cool (if I do I chuck on my aviators). I am stubborn, perseverant, persistent. I don’t give up without a fight. I work hard. I get the job done. I don’t let on how I really feel. I don’t get over emotional. I’m not easily swayed in opinion. I’m always OK no matter what insults are hurled at me.

I am strong because I am hardcore.

Hard gives me an edge – it allows me to stand when things get tough, when the ground shakes a little. Hard lets me lead and make tough calls. Hard helps me carry on when I don’t feel like I can withstand another blow; I do. Hard allows me to support others when their foundations are crumbling – mine is strong, mine will stand. I am hardcore.

Hardcore. Hard core. Hard to the core. Hard. Core.

Walls are hard – they keep people in, keep people out. Fists are hard – riots, bar fights, broken bones. Streets are hard – you lose face when you fall and scrape skin against them. Here’s a wake-up call truth: hard does not mean strong. Some of the hardest trees are the most brittle. It is the soft wood that is flexible – it folds but doesn’t snap under pressure. Hard wood burns easier, burns faster – it does a good job at shedding light but burns out better too. Soft wood may be more difficult to set alight, but it burns steadier and longer.

Being hard makes me feel safe – untouchable. It’s a true feeling: I am untouchable when I am hard because no one can approach me, no one can come close to breeching the barricade around my heart. Being hard makes me feel in control – on top of things. Nothing is further from the truth; I have no control at all, and this is why I make myself hard. It’s more convenient to shut down on all levels than to admit that I haven’t the slightest clue how to navigate this life thing.

The problem is this: when you’re dealing with people, you’re dealing with hearts – hearts that have already been so battered by a hard world that they can hardly recognise any sign of compassion or love or even flexibility. You can’t be hard without crushing people in the process. You can’t expect to be hard without propelling hurtful shards into hearts.

Soft is hard too you know. In fact, soft is probably the hardest. Soft lets people in. Soft unnerves people. Soft disarms pretences. Soft is vulnerable and honest. Soft is teachable. Soft is compassionate. Soft loves. Soft shows that we are all equal in our quest to find truth and acceptance. Soft sees how Jesus would see. Soft is really hard.

So I’ll rephrase my first statement (despite the fact that it may now be a little long-winded): I am hard-outer-but-soft-core-as-I-allow-Jesus-to-guide-me-in-the-way-of-being-steadfast-and-unwavering-yet-yielding-to-the-work-of-His-hand-and-open-to-being-broken-by-a-world-that-needs-healing.

Shae Leigh Bloem has a blog that is definitely worth spending some time in

to see my good mate Bruce’s take on PEOPLE as his Strength Weakness read on

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